BART to Oakland airport plan stalled

November 13, 2008 1:43:21 PM PST
The combination of the financial crisis, escalating costs and a drop in airline ridership has stalled the Bay Area Rapid Transit District's plans to create light rail service to the Oakland International Airport, BART spokesman Jim Allison said today.

Allison said the agency's Oct. 28 deadline for proposals for the airport connector project passed with no responses to a call for a plan to build a 3.2-mile elevated tramway to shuttle passengers between the Oakland Coliseum BART station and the airport.

He said that until recently, BART had been in discussions with the only remaining pre-qualified consortium for the project, which consisted of Babcock & Brown, Merrill Lynch, Flatiron Constructors and Bombardier.

Allison said linking the Oakland airport to BART is still an important project for BART and its funding partners, which include the Alameda Transportation Improvement Authority, the Federal Transit Administration, the Port of Oakland, the Metropolitan Transportation Commission and the city of Oakland.

He said BART's staff is "undaunted" by the delay and has already begun to assess new, lower-cost system technologies, procurement strategies and funding alternatives to quickly determine how to continue the project "in a financially viable way."

"BART continues to believe that this project can be developed as a public-private partnership," Allison said.


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